ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—Ted Lilly is finding success away from home.
The left-hander didn’t allow a run over six-plus innings in improving to 5-0 over his last seven starts away from SkyDome. He gave up three hits, four walks and struck out three.
“I was a little wild, but I think I got away with it today,” Lilly said.
Lilly was coming a dismal start last Thursday at home. He allowed six runs and nine hits in three innings of the Blue Jays’ 19-13 loss to Tampa Bay.
“It was pretty embarrassing,” Lilly said. “It was hard to get that last start off my mind. I have to admit that the last five days, that’s what I’ve been thinking about.”
Hinske stole home on the front end of a double steal during a two-run first, and the Blue Jays sent the Devil Rays to their third loss in 19 games. The Devil Rays had scored 29 runs in their previous two games against Toronto.
“The story tonight was we just didn’t score any runs,” Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. “It hasn’t happened in a while. It can happen occasionally. Let’s hope it was occasionally.”
The Blue Jays took a 2-0 lead in the first. Chris Gomez hit an RBI single before Hinske stole home.
Gomez headed from first to second on a steal attempt, drawing a throw from catcher Toby Hall. Gomez was safe, and Hinske scored from third—easily beating the throw back to the plate by second baseman Rey Sanchez.
Lilly didn’t allow a hit until Hall singled with one out in the fifth.
“Just an outstanding performance,” Blue Jays manager Carlos Tosca said. “Early on, he had all three pitches going. The fastball had real good explosiveness to it. Sharp breaking ball, good change up.”
It was also the fifth when the Devil Rays got their first runner in scoring position. Lilly worked out of a jam with one out and runners on first and second, by retiring Sanchez on a fly ball and inducing a grounder from Carl Crawford.
Tampa Bay also threatened in the sixth, but Julio Lugo flew out with runners on the corners and two outs.
“Some how, some way, he made the ball look smaller than he did in Toronto,” Tampa Bay’s Geoff Blum said. “That’s the only way I can explain it. He was hitting all his spots with every pitch and did a good job of keeping us off balance.”
Lilly was replaced by Chulk with no outs in the seventh after Tino Martinez was hit a pitch and Hall singled.
Chulk needed just six pitches to end the threat. He struck out Sanchez and retired Crawford and Blum on flyballs.
John Halama (4-2) allowed three runs and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings. He had won his previous four decisions, including two straight starts since joining the Devil Rays’ rotation June 18.
“He kept us in the game,” Piniella said. “He gave us a chance.”
Halama started and won last Thursday’s slugfest. He gave up five runs andeight hits over five innings in that game.
Devil Rays OF Rocco Baldelli, slowed by a sore left quadriceps, was the DH. He didn’t play Monday. … Toronto C Gregg Zaun was out of the lineup because of a stiff neck. … Crawford took a hit away from Reed Johnson with a diving catch in center in the first. … Blue Jays minor league RHP Jamie Vermilyea threw a seven-inning perfect game Monday for Double-A New Hampshireagainst New Britain.